Jeruto, Wambui lead charge in 800m final: 800m Duo keen to run tactical race in chase for medals

IAAF WORLD U18 CHAMPIONSHIPS KASARANI STADIUM Kenyan 800m Jackline Wambui(2nd R) and Ethiopian Hirut Meshesha(2nd L) lead the pack in the 800m semi-final during the IAAF World U18 Championships at Kasarani Stadium on Friday 14/07/17.[Boniface Okendo,Standard]

Rivals Ethiopia will once again provide stiff competition for local girls

The absence of the United States of America at this final edition of the IAAF World Under-18 Championships has given the host nation the tag of favourites in the 800m girls final as the teens' track and field contest comes to an end today.

The inspiring pair of Lydia Jeruto and Jackline Wambui will hope to prevail in a fierce battle against the stubborn Ethiopian Hirut Meshesha and for the first time, a non-African, Milena Korbut of Poland, who boasts a time of 2:06.98, the third fastest time after the Kenyan duo.

Lanky teenager Jeruto looked very confident in the semi-finals on Friday, winning the race in 2:10.47 en route to today’s final at 4pm.

Wambui will also be keen to show her compatriot that she is also ready to strike gold after also having a smooth sail into the finals as she controlled her semi-final race jogging across the line first in a time of 2:06.63.

Jeruto, a class seven pupil at Poror Primary School in Baringo County, said after semis qualification victory: “It was just a matter of making it to the final, I will run even a better race in the final.”

Meshesha of Ethiopia will be her country’s sole representative in the race. She finished in the runners-up position, timing 2:14.45 behind Wambui. Pole Milina Korbut, on the other hand, is another girl the Kenyans must contain and make sure she does not spoil the party.

If the local girls emerge triumphant in today’s evening action, they will have redeemed the title they lost in Cali, Colombia, in 2015 and Donetsk, Ukraine, in 2013.

Iceland’s Aníta Hinriksdottir was the Donetsk Championship gold medal while USA’s Samantha Watson topped the Cali event.

Meanwhile, it is a tricky thing to have your father as coach. Timo Northoff knows this, but at the same time there’s no one else he’d rather have guide his career, particularly now, after the young German claimed shot put gold.

“I think it’s the best training in the world because we understand each other,” he says. “My father was also a shot putter so I followed his way.”

His dad, Tilman, was the one who first coaxed Timo into the sport at age 13. “Back then I did everything,” recalls Timo, “long jump, sprints, shot put and discus.”

In those early years, however, his lack of size relative to his peers meant he did not show flashes of his vast potential. “I was really small and tiny at the start, but over the years with training I have developed,” he says.

When he had built that strong and stable frame in his mid-teens, he and his father soon realised his future lay in shot put.

His dad had been a combined-eventer for much of his career, but turned his attention to the shot put at the age of 30, eventually throwing his lifetime best of 19.02m at the age of 36. Many years later, he is still competing, but has had to face the inevitable in seeing his son out-perform him.

Next Story
LATEST STORIES
Champions League: Bayern romp home after Besiktas suffer early red card

Bayern Munich, helped by two typical Thomas Mueller goals and two from Robert Lewandowski, romped to a 5-0 win over Besiktas in their Champions League

Champions League: Messi breaks Chelsea duck to earn Barca 1-1 draw

Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi finally opened his account against Chelsea with a 75th-minute equaliser to earn his side a 1-1 draw in a fascinating C

Commonwealth Games: Sprint coaches decry exclusion from Club Games

Some sprint coaches have accused Athletics Kenya (AK) of shutting them out of the team to the 21st Commonwealth Games.

Commonwealth Games: No available training venues as departure nears

Athletics team faces hurdles; Accommodation hitch grips as track and field squad prepares for contest in Australia.

Caf Champions League: K’Ogalo tackle Equatorial Guinea opposition with eye on next stage

Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia face Leones Vegetarianos of Equatorial Guinea today (at 7pm), seeking to progress to the first round of the

More Stories
Commonwealth Games: Sprint coaches decry exclusion from Club Games

Some sprint coaches have accused Athletics Kenya (AK) of shutting them out of the team to the 21st Commonwealth Games.

Commonwealth Games: No available training venues as departure nears

Athletics team faces hurdles; Accommodation hitch grips as track and field squad prepares for contest in Australia.

Kenyan athlete Francis Kiplagat dies in grisly road accident

Tragedy as Kenyan athlete dies in grisly road accident

Veterans seal second stab at Club Games: At least 14 athletes return to Commonwealth contest

World beating athletes stage impressive comebacks and pick tickets to Australia.

Expect a Kenyan double: London Marathon Director Hugh Brasher tips Kenyans to extend dominance in UK’s premier race

Kipchoge to take on Bekele and homeboy Mo Farah at London Marathon on April 22.

Keitany, Kipchoge face strong line up: Douglas Wakiihuri was the first Kenyan to win London Marathon

Kenya has produced the winner of the men’s London Marathon 12 times in the last 14 years.

Cheruiyot floors Manangoi: Athletics World 1,500m champion finishes second at Commonwealth trials

World junior champion Taki also makes team to Gold Coast, Australia.

Athletics: It’s tough duel as AK picks team today

It’s a do-or-die battle today as Kenyan athletes for slots to the 21st Commonwealth Games that run Gold Coast, Australia, on April 4-15.

Top guns battle at Kasarani

It will be another moment of riveting action tomorrow when local stars battle for slots in Track and Field to the 21st Commonwealth Games

Yesteryear stars seek fairytale comeback

Comeback tales will no doubt spice up Athletics Kenya Commonwealth Games trials at Kasarani Stadium on Saturday.